Nydia Blas is a visual artist living in Ithaca, New York with her two children. She primarily works with photography, video, and books as mediums to explore and present her ideas concerning lived experience, history, and imposed constructs.
She holds a B.S. from Ithaca College, and is presently an M.F.A. candidate and instructor at Syracuse University in the school of Visual and Performing Arts. Her work is currently on view in the 2016 MFA show at the Syracuse University Art Galleries, before moving to Rogue Space in New York City. Upon the completion of her M.F.A. degree she will be an Artist-in-Residency at The Center for Photography at Woodstock. In the Fall (2016) her work will be on exhibition at The Handwerker Gallery at Ithaca College, where she will present her Artist Talk through the Center for the Study of Race, Culture, and Ethnicity.
Blas delicately weaves stories of circumstance, power, and magic. She uses her work to create a physical and allegorical space presented through a Black feminine lens. It is difficult to acknowledge the way society ignores, limits, and values you and work outside of these confines to create realistic and complicated ways of seeing and looking at oneself that are empowering and propel people forward into new narratives. How do you do this when the very body you reside in is in opposition to what is deemed normal, proper, and worthy of protection? Blas destabilizes these far outdated but very real constructs by spinning a counter-narrative as visual evidence of alternative spaces created by the subjects themselves—to reclaim their bodies for their own exploration.
She is drawn to matters of sexuality and intimacy, working to create images that have the ability to be both esoteric and resonate with those on the periphery. Her work is an amalgamation of popular and sub-cultures, especially film and folklore, and undoubtedly lived experience. The result is an environment imbued with a sense of magical realism that is dependent upon the belief that alchemy takes place in the tangible world. And that in order to navigate the often-harsh realities of circumstance and maintain resiliency, a magical outlook is necessary. In this space, props function as extensions of the body, costumes as markers of identity, and gestures/actions reveal the performance, celebration, discovery and confrontation involved in self-definition within pre-existing structures.